ChatGPT has made history as one of the quickest growing online platforms ever, gaining over 100 million users in just under two months. The AI-powered chatbot comes with many advantages to those in the B2B Marketing sector such as assisting with writing content and creating strategies. But among these many advantages, what do B2B communicators need to be aware of?
The AI era has laid the groundwork for an interesting aftershock in the B2B PR and Marketing sector, with many disagreeing on how to make use of it. An online survey, conducted earlier this year, highlighted the differences in opinion spanning the entire PR and Marketing industry. Some revealed that they have been using ChatGPT and similar platforms to write press releases, and create social media content, whereas almost one third of respondents have chosen to ignore it completely!
So, how can B2B communicators integrate ChatGPT and similar platforms into their tactics, without crossing ethical guidelines and risking rendering their own roles useless?
Keeping a legal lid on AI
Trust is a critical aspect of ChatGPT for the user to believe that their generated text is factually correct. With people and machines creating tens of millions of new web pages daily, will using machine-generated content be pivotal in enabling your organisation to stand out from the rest, or cause copyright troubles?
Google’s position on AI-produced content is clear – companies that use AI-generated content to manipulate ranking in search results will violate their spam policies. So, where should B2B PR and Marketers stand? Clearly trust is ChatGPT’s biggest weakness. Unlike Google, you don’t know the source of the information, you can’t judge based on the type of site or the experience of the author. Google’s system of basing quality on the number of citations of an article isn’t in place. Further research is going to be needed and this will take time, so people will still return to trusted sources and expertise.
The U.S. Copyright Office has now launched a new initiative to examine the copyright law and policy issues raised by artificial intelligence (AI), including the scope of copyright in works generated using AI tools and the use of copyrighted materials in AI training. The Copyright Office says the initiative has been launched: “in direct response to the recent striking advances in generative AI technologies and their rapidly growing use by individuals and businesses.” And this begins right at the input stage, not the output.
ChatGPT and similar software use existing text, images, and code to create ‘new’ work. The technology must get its ideas from somewhere, which means trawling the web to ‘train’ and ‘earn’ from pre-existing content. OpenAI and similar alternatives have already been subject to many lawsuits, arguing that AI tools are illegally using other people’s work to build their platforms.
With the PR Council also weighing in on this issue, all we can do is wait for official guidance and standards on the use of AI in PR. For now, communications professionals are urged to apply caution to any external-facing use of output from ChatGPT.
Yes – ChatGPT can write better than you!
The media is all over ChatGPT, but as B2B PR and Marketing professionals, our attention must focus on human generated copy and how marketing-speak has grown into what already sounds like computer-generated discourse. The issue isn’t that machines write like humans – it’s that humans are beginning to write like machines. ChatGPT must act as a wakeup call for PR and Marketing professionals to stop writing in marketing lingo and start using words to convey ideas and thoughts.
From an infinite number of monkeys writing Shakespeare, to the WSJ’s first Buzz Word Generator, to Chat GPT, AI has got better, but actually not fundamentally changed in its basic capabilities.
ChatGPT is the ultimate wordsmith – we’ve all read press releases and articles that spew out words that sound compelling but say nothing – ‘I see the words, but what do they mean’ is a phrase often used in my company. Many writers, bloggers, and content creators are producing copy with no interest in the subject of the copy. A machine can do that, and do it rather well!
There’s nothing like the human touch
PR and Marketing agencies must be more than just wordsmiths. Quality writing is fuelled by intention – we are trying to deliver subliminal corporate messaging in our press releases that gets across more than just a product launch. Coherence isn’t enough, communication is more complex and precise.
B2B professionals bring unique skills, perspectives, and relationships that cannot be replaced by AI. Often a single piece of content needs to support a number of different precisely targeted audiences – an editor, a buyer, and a C-level ratifier. Try telling that to ChatGPT!
The tool can assist with many tasks but there are three essential components of effective PR and Marketing: creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence that it lacks.
We humans are born to think outside the box, to come up with completely new and original ideas. Thinking outside the box is impossible for ChatGPT – it is the box, it creates the box, it is limited by the box it is in.
These limitations highlight the complementary nature of AI and human B2B professionals. AI can perform certain tasks faster and more efficiently, but the human brain brings a unique skillset that is critical to effective Marketing and PR practices.
Critical thinking is fundamental to understand causes from correlations, understand where bias is and remove it, distinguish between a primary source and someone’s personal opinion – we know the distinction between truth versus their truth gets muddier by the day, but the human brain can figure it out!
Selling new and original developments and solutions require targeting copy at different audiences with different needs. This requires critical thinking – something robots can’t do. AI chatbots can’t ‘read into a situation’. Our human emotional intellect makes us able to understand and handle an interaction or debate that needs more emotional communication methods.
But emotional intelligence isn’t all its lacking.
Unlocking the power of ChatGPT in B2B PR and Marketing
ChatGPT offers an incredible number of benefits to those in B2B communications – from informing new strategies, creating new content and cutting down on administrative duties.
But be warned. PR and Marketing professionals mustn’t fall into the trap of relying completely on AI. Instead B2B professionals should look to integrate the platform into their processes, while still tapping into their own innovative and emotional intelligence to ensure the content performs.
Judith Ingleton-Beer edited leading technology, management and business publications before heading up the newly established B2B communications group IBA, a division of Special Interest Publications.
Under her leadership IBA International has become renowned for the quality of its content creation, working for multi-national corporations as well as startups and scale-ups in every emerging B2B tech wave. IBA has been particularly successful in placing this thought leadership material in Tier One publications across international markets.